I, (like many others it seems) have noticed recently a lot of blogs out there asking if mummy blogging has become too commercialised and whether we're all just in it for the money. For two great examples have a look at Iota's post here and Susanna's at A Modern Mother here. So, for what it's worth, as a newbie to the blogging scene. I thought I'd throw in my twopence hap'orth (sorry, just a phrase I've always wanted to use).
So here's a confession. I started this blog for the money. I've mentioned before that I'd never read a blog before my friend AK encouraged me to start one. Her advice, when I said I was looking for a Plan B, was to start a blog because:
"All you need is a good hook, some knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO), and basic design skills and you're off to the races. Mommy blogs are all the rage here and the mommies behind the most popular blogs can make thousands of dollars a week in ad revenue, plus they get lots of free products to "test.""
AK is, in case you hadn't guessed, American. I replied with words along the lines of "I don't know what a blog is, I don't imagine anyone would want to read my witterings anyway, and really, honestly, who's going to pay for them? If I'd thought I could write well enough to get paid for it I'd have become a journalist. And I lack any knowledge of any of the stuff you mention to boot".
But, nonetheless, I did it. I started a blog. Because why not? And to my amazement there are a small and select number of people out there who do want to read it. They don't pay for it, and I can't imagine they ever will. But that's ok, because I've realised, in the space of a few short weeks, that maybe I'm not in it for the money after all. Because I get so much more out of it than money.
For the first week or so I really was doing it for me. No-one else was reading it. But that in itself was good. I hadn't realised how much writing down what I was feeling would help. And just settling down, in my own space, for ten minutes every couple of days gave me a sense of being my own person and doing something just for me that I don't think I've felt in about 2 1/2 years.
The first time a miracle occurred and someone I hadn't met commented on my blog, I got a huge glow of pride and and a boost of confidence. I'm not alone! There are people out there who are interested in me! They care about what I'm writing! They think I write well! For a woman who was questioning her ability to do anything well that was, and is, a huge support.
Then there's the advice. People have said all sorts of sensible things in response to my idiocies, and some of them we have acted upon. Some of them have worked too. And those that are still a work in progress.... well, we'll see...
And then I outed myself. Nominally this blog is still anonymous though I don't imagine it would be too difficult for someone who really wanted to to work out who I am. Nonetheless I hadn't told any of my friends I was doing it because I was embarrassed. But then, (back to the pride and the confidence) Potty Mummy chose me as the blogger of the week. Now I know, out there in the real world, that's maybe not a very big thing. But it was to me. So I put it on my facebook status
Lots of people said lovely things. But the two that have meant most to me are from the two Susannas. I've known both of them for years. But I've sort of lost touch with them both recently. Now they've both read my blog and they've taken the time to send me messages of support and love, with some wise advice thrown in. And as a result I feel as though I am better friends with them both. And that has a value that can't be counted.
Blogging has given me an outlet for my stresses and dithers, confidence, time for me, new friends and even old friends. Yes, a book deal would be great. But while I'm waiting I'll settle for what I've got.
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